namoo on the park

6:23 PM sians 1 Comments

namoo {나무} translates to tree in korean.

namoo also happens to brand a korean dessert cafe and bistro.

quite an intriguing name for a korean restaurant, if you asked me. located in publika, mont kiara, the minds behind this restaurant explained that tree conveys the feelings of warmth, comfort and naturalness.

the creators of this restaurant definitely enlivened those feelings through their cozy decor. they hit the right chords (with me, at least) when they picked the concept of vintage flair nestled within modern contemporary - a apt representation of their korean food approach. 

the front as you enter the entrance through the mall

there is also outdoor dining available which also houses live performances in the evenings occasionally.

one cool thing that i don't see at a lot restaurants is the hook under the table to accommodate bags, which is rather convenient. i didn't even notice until i looked at the 'note' printed on the napkin.

 i was curious to see what kind of twists they would bring  to the "authentic" korean classics so {wy} and i ordered a noodle and rice dish to give a bit of a variety.

rice :: garlic bulgogi rice | korean marinated beef and fried garlic served on top of rice (rm19.90)

i was thrilled when they served a small serving of kimchi as a side. the soy marinated beef had the usual suspects that gave it its savory, very subtle hint of sweetness but overall, it was mediocre. the sliced onions could have used a but more caramelization.

the beef was moist but the dish was lacking something that i can't quite pinpoint - the overall dish was almost monotonous. however, the saving grace was when i had bites with the caramelized garlic that gave another flavor dimension to each bite which perhaps was their twist to the classic. 

oh and the kimchi? it wasn't bad but it wasn't the best that i've had. tart, slightly spicy and fermented. hehe.

noodles :: spicy seafood ramen | korean ramen noodles with prawn, mussel, seaweed and hard boiled egg in our chef's special soup (rm18.90)

at first sniff, the aroma reminded me of the korean instant noodles, shin ramyun that i love.. the soup submersed the treasures that were soon revealed with a scoop of a pair of chopsticks.

the noodles were cooked to perfection with the right amount of chew. the seafood included a generous portion of two large shrimp and two mussels which were fresh and cooked just enough to enhance its natural sweetness. the flavor of the soup was actually akin to shin ramyun that i am very much familiar with - warm in a comforting manner, salty (in a good way) and mildly spicy with the flavor of seafood highlighted in the clarity and fullness of the soup. i think {wy} and i agreed that this was the better of the two entrees we had.

did it cross the line into modern interpretation of a classic? not quite.

{wy} and i thought for a moment whether to end the meal with a dessert here or somewhere else. our resolves were weakened at the selections of dessert that sounded tempting.

korean specialty dessert {warm} :: hottuk pancake | your choice of berries, banana or chocolate peanut butter (rm12.90)

we were in the mood for some decadence and satisfaction so we decided to go for the chocolate peanut butter. i was actually excited to try their updated version featuring one of the popular and favorite street food snacks in south korea, the korean pancake. the traditional rendition of hotteok (namoo calls it hottuk) usually filled with brown sugar, peanuts and cinnamon.

the huge disc of dough was slathered generously with peanut butter coupled with finishes of chocolate syrup and finally topped with assorted nuts. the hotteok on its own was cripsy shell encasing the warm, soft but at the same time chewy and inching a lil bit into the realm of being too sweet. the peanuts contributed a textural difference while the cinnamon was a strong feature, which oddly went well with the peanut butter and the dark chocolate syrup.

however, the amount of the peanut butter was too much that it drowned the potential awesomeness from the combination of the different flavor profiles into one. in fact, all i could really remember was the flavors of peanut butter and cinnamon.

the dessert also came with vanilla ice cream, which surprisingly managed to mellow all the loudness that was happening with the peanut butter, chocolate syrup and the cinnamon sugar. don't get me wrong, i love the pop of the flavors but i'd appreciate a lil restrain to strike the right balance. the ice cream is key to complete and balance the dish, and i could say that it was almost the hero of the dessert that managed to save the day.

was their interpretation managed bring this dessert "out of the box" of norm? i'd say so.

when i asked my friends about the other dishes here at namoo, two of them have tried what people usually flock to the restaurant for - the rice burger where the patty is sandwiched in between rice "buns". both of them responded with an unsatisfactory due to the dryness of the burger overall. but general consensus was that sweet potato cake was not to be missed and i should probably heed that advise if i returned to namoo for a second time.

namoo had a couple of hits and misses but with some finesse in execution could lead it in the right direction. unlike my other korean food experiences thus far, namoo openly celebrates the modern flair they bring to the classic favorites - some in a more obvious way than others, which i had fun tasting what these differences could give to tradition that has been tested and adored over generations.

namoo on the park | location
publika, level g3,
lot 4a, solaris dutamas
no.1, jalan dutamas 1, 
50480 kuala lumpur

{yummy-ness | 3 forks out of 5 }
{worth trying | spicy seafood ramen}

disclaimer this is written based on personal experience and opinion. experiences and taste buds may vary for others.


Anonymous said...

Hello. And Bye.